Racing for round five of the 2018 Australian Formula Ford Championship started this morning at The Bend Motorsport Park with an action-filled race one, in typical Formula Ford style.
After a thrilling start, Mygale driver Hunter McElrea showed very clear intentions with a decisive move on Sonic team-mate Hamish Ribarits. The Safety Car was soon deployed after a two-car incident that involved Spectrum driver Paul Zsidy and Samuel Dicker's Stealth on the opening lap.
On the restart, Spectrum driver Cody Donald passed Ribarits for second and set his sights on McElrea, while Ribarits battled with BF Racing’s Cameron Shields and privateer Zac Soutar for third.
Donald caught and passed McElrea on the last lap as he chased his maiden national Formula Ford win, but McElrea returned serve with a pass for the lead at turn 17 and went on to win his ninth win of the season. "I’m pretty pumped to take the win and really thankful for all the guys and girls at Sonic Motor Racing Services who gave me a really quick Mygale, and all my supporters who made it possible".
McElrea was thrilled to be the first Australian Formula Ford winner at The Bend Motorsport Park
"I'm pretty pumped to take the win and really thankful for all the guys and girls at Sonic Motor racing Services who gave me a really quick Mygale, and all my supporters who made it possible for me" said McElrea just after race one.
This was Donald's maiden national podium and, while charging on McElrea, set a new track record for Formula Ford on the international circuit, with a stunning 1.58.022.
"I’m really happy to finish second, the first time I’ve finished on the podium in a national race and it was great to do it here at The Bend Motorsport Park".
"I’m stoked to be up the front and it was a great race with Hunter early on, but hopefully we can go one better tomorrow".
Behind the leading duo, Ribarits, Shields and Soutar enjoyed a great battle as the trio swapped positions multiple times, but it was Ribarits who held on for third place to complete the race one podium.
Results remain provisional while several incidents remain under investigation.